Words of Wisdom for Orr Group Interns
With the holiday season in full swing, we can hardly believe that it was just a few short months ago when we started our internships at Orr Group. As our internships come to an end, we took a moment to reflect on our experiences learning about the fundraising world through the lens of a nonprofit management and strategic fundraising firm. Here are three points of wisdom that we hope will inspire future Orr Group interns to get as much out of this program as we did.
#1. Find nonprofit partners that you connect with and engage with the team
As a strategic fundraising firm, Orr Group partners with around 50 nonprofits at any given time. As an intern, you are not assigned to specific client teams, rather you are given the opportunity to engage with all of Orr Group’s nonprofit partners and identify a few that you feel connected to. Be sure to ask your team members to sit in on those clients’ meetings to further immerse yourself in the organizations. By working continuously with certain organizations, interns get to see the full scope of Orr Group’s work, including event production and fundraising, campaigns, and interim fundraising leadership. If you’re lucky, you may also get the chance to volunteer at a client event, like Eden and Aline did at the Equal Justice Works Annual Dinner!
Aline felt the fulfillment of working with a variety of clients throughout her entire internship. This experience exposed her to the firm’s diversity in terms of the multitude of skills and passion that make Orr Group successful. By working with a wide range of clients who support different causes, interns have the opportunity to see how these organizations function from an internal perspective, which is an invaluable learning opportunity.
#2. Manage your time and manage it well
One of the hallmarks of this internship is the diverse range of skills that you develop as you learn to navigate the fast-paced environment of nonprofit management. The nature of this work allows you to practice and hone your time management skills as you balance and prioritize various projects. Orr Group also encourages you to be proactive, so be sure to offer a helping hand when you have time to spare or delegate tasks within your team if you’re anticipating a heavier workload.
That said, we want future interns to get to know their toolbox. We use a lot of different tools and databases specific to the nonprofit industry, and Gavin remarks that the first few days with the firm, he spent hours exploring all of them to figure out how they are organized and how he could use them efficiently. Gavin believes this was key for his work down the line, as research on different corporations, foundations, nonprofits, or individuals becomes much easier when you know how to narrow down the search parameters of the database you’re using. Learning how to utilize the tools and strategies in Orr Group’s toolkit makes the process infinitely smoother and turns out detailed and high-quality deliverables.
#3. Engage in office culture
One of the most fulfilling aspects of this internship is that you get to develop your skills working individually and collaborating on teams. Because every client team is comprised of different members of Orr Group staff, Eden loved having the chance to work with not only everyone in the DC office, but also virtually with members of the New York office. Ask to grab coffee with your team members – they are more than willing to share great advice from their time in the nonprofit field. There is a reason that we use hoteling in our office spaces, and this internship is a great chance to harness and strengthen your soft skills.
Furthermore, don’t be afraid to ask members of the staff for the work you want. Emily believes that one of the best things about interning at Orr Group is that you can customize your internship to focus on different areas of the business. There are plenty of opportunities to help the firm and its clients with research, social media, event planning, outreach, and more. It is important that you embrace the self-starter culture of this firm by making the first step and asking.
We are so happy to be a part of this team and we hope that anyone interested in the energetic, rewarding culture at Orr Group applies for upcoming internships.
Interested in learning more about Orr Group? Contact us today.